What is the Difference Between a Patch and an Update?
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What is the Difference Between a Patch and an Update?

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You know the cyber security of your business is essential. Nearly every day, we hear news about data breaches that impact small and large companies as well as their customers.

Routine maintenance of your network is vital in keeping your sensitive data safe. However, the security jargon can be confusing; what is the difference between a patch and an update? Both are key to the health of your business, and we’ll explain briefly below.

What is a Patch?

The easiest way to think of a patch is to visualize what you might do if there was a rip in your favorite pair of jeans. You’d grab a sturdy fabric, sew it over the tear, and repair the problem. You target a specific problem (the hole) with a targeted solution (the patch).

A security patch works similarly to a patch for your clothing. Suppose there is an unknown vulnerability in your system. In that case, patches are tailor-made to fix the issue and protect your network from would-be attackers. A patch might also help to resolve bugs or errors within your system. By tweaking these errors with a patch, your computers run more efficiently and allow you to get the job done faster.

What is an Update?

It’s easy to see why so many people confuse these two words. An update works similarly to a patch in that it improves the efficiency and security of your computers. If we look at the clothing example again, let’s say your jeans are outdated with many rips and tears. They need a complete overhaul. In this case, you might redesign critical elements of the jeans (such as the buttons and zippers), add essential features (like pockets), and improve comfort and wearability. They’re still your jeans, but now they’re easier to wear, stylish, and even more functional!

An update works similarly in that it’s a system-wide upgrade to extend functionality, often targeting several issues at once. An update will replace older software versions with something better and easier to use. You might be familiar with an OS, or operating system, update on your phone or computer. When this is complete, you’ll notice a few tweaks to your device that help it run more smoothly. This often includes updates to drivers, system utilities, security, and more.

Why is it Important?

So what is the difference between a patch and an update? It’s all about the size and extent of the upgrades. Without the proper protection, the sensitive data housed in your computers could be vulnerable to threats. Without patches or updates, your system could also move slowly and hinder your ability to work.

Luckily, with the right managed IT service company, the hard work is already done. SecureTech’s Patch Management Solution allows you to work worry-free while we ensure your security is up-to-date. Contact us today to learn how Patch Management can improve your bottom line.